This is a post about Inca and her first litter. She is 5 years old and missed 2 times before. I wrote this as an email to a friend, telling her all about it, so its straight from the heart.
So having been up and down all night with her reassuring pacifying etc etc. at 4.45 I heard that first waited for grunt, that told me we were action stations. At 5.15 waters broke, at 5.25 out popped a beautiful little tri- girl. Weight was a lot less than I would like 219g but considering Inca had not eaten very much, maybe half a pack of tripe a day for the past week I wasn’t that surprised. What did surprise me was her reaction and I do not exaggerate she refused to look at it she totally looked the other way and when she did eventually look at it you could see the shock. I decided caution was the best policy. I didn’t force her or make a fuss I just gave her time. She decided to eat the afterbirth and eventually licked the pup but she was not overly enamoured. I just sat back and spoke encouragingly to her hoping nature would do its thing.
My heart was really starting to go into overdrive when at 6.25 as I still had no second pup and no contractions. At 6.45 Karla arrived and we both tried to keep each other calm. I had decided if nothing by 7.30 we would be on the phone to the vets. At 7.15 she started to have contractions phew phew phew. Out pops a tri girl 292g much better weight and as beautiful as the first with the added extra of a full ruff. This was soon followed at 7.35 by guess what…..another tri girl, very small at 202g. As this mating was to continue my sable line and only 4 pups had been seen on the scan my hopes of a sable were quickly disappearing as i’m sure you can imagine but at the end of the day healthy happy pups are so much more important than colour, so I would not be complaining as long as they all survived. So we wait expecting another one as we know 4 were seen and we wait and we wait and we wait!!!!!!!!! Finally another contraction or two and at 8.25 out pops guess what ………a tri, this time a boy weighing 303g. Oh well a litter of tri’s, We will give her a rest and wait to see if anymore come as she is still panting (I always take this as a sign there is more, as once the last one comes the breathing tends to change). So by 9.10 we were thinking well maybe that’s it and she is just hot. So I take her for a walk round the garden so she can cool off and have a pee. Once she has peed I check her bott ….. holy moley half a sac hanging out. At 9.20 a sable boy at 297g and rather nice he looks. Is that it we wonder? She is still panting!!!!! By 10.30 I was fairly convinced she was done. Started sorting the whelping box as I let them have the pups on a mat in front of the box its so much easier. At 10.55 I looked at Karla and asked “Did you see that, was that a contraction”….. 2 mins later 2 little feet hanging out the back end and at 11 we have A SABLE GIRL at 275g with a full white ruff. Well done and thank you. Got all cleaned up let her rest on the mat (which I change regularly, just so you know). Fortunately I have several birthing mats as its at this point I discover we have no water and I have a mounting of towels and mats to wash that are very unpleasant. So I send Karla across the road to ask Sandra the neighbour if they have water. No, (relief its not just us) she will phone and message any news. Thankfully we have amazing neighbours.
Coffee time and a sit down for me and Karla after another walk round the garden and a good bum clean for Inca before I will then settle her into the whelping box. So just as we are about to put pups into whelping box. Oh my there was the grunt, another contraction. 11.30 another tri girl at 290g with full ruff. So that was no 7 surely to God that must be it. So I sit down to cold coffee, Karla is standing at the kettle to make a fresh one and I decide to write out all the times, weights etc. I look up as Karla asks me do I want a fresh coffee, as my eyes pass Inca on the way to look at Karla and reply there fully birthed is a puppy below Inca’s tail. Off the chair i shoot, my face was a picture according to Karla and back on my knees to check the said pup. Phew its breathing and guess what a sable girl. We decide that really must be it now.
After pup number 8 and a reasonable length of time we decide she is definitely done even thought she is still panting. I put it down to shock.
So when she lifts her head looks at me and I see the contraction I am beyond words. Maybe its the after birth from the last pup me thinks…. Oh no, 12.55 out pops number 9 sable girl 258g . Well I kid you not it is the feistiest noisiest thing you have ever heard. She was shouting before she was out.
Poor Inca is obviously exhausted having started the first stages at 4am Friday. I finally settle everyone into the whelping box and just leave them to rest while staying close to make sure all is well as I can see Inca is not 100% ok with all this. Later I make sure all pups have suckled to get the much needed colostrum. After putting the girls to bed I set up camp in the kitchen and take Inca out for a quiet time in the garden on her own. Wash her, try to get her to eat etc. I have put the pups in a warm box while sorting Inca. I settle Inca back in the whelping box talking to her and reassuring her.
Remembering our sweet loving Inca with the happiest disposition you can ever have, you can Imagine my shock when having reached into the box and pulled out a pup to put back to her she went for it in my hand (this happened again later). OH DEAR trying my hardest not to panic ……think think think, don’t make a fuss, don’t react, just stay calm, not easy when you are already feeling anxiety. So I slowly put all pups to her while holding her head away with my elbow. No easy task. She spent all night and all the next day staring at these things that kept squeaking and attaching themselves to her. You could see the shock and confusion in her face. The next time I took her out she refused to go back in the box, so much cajoling was required. Every squeak her ears twitched and her eyes stared at these things she had produced. This was where a quick message to the fountain of all knowledge was welcome as she quickly came back with the advise to give the Calcium tablets we had bought at one of the shows. She had advised me then it was a good Idea to have them handy. Apparently they are good for stress, maybe we all need them!!!!!. So she had said tablet and I kept a very close eye expecting any moment she was about to devour a pup.